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Last month, we went on the longest road trip we have ever taken. NE Wisconsin all the way down to mile marker 0 in the Florida Keys. And it was probably one of the most memorable things we’ve done together in the seven years we’ve been together.
By the end of it, I’m pretty sure we drove at every hour of the day and night. And when I say long, I mean long. I think the longest was sixteen hours. I relished the one day – the single day of our sixteen day trip – that we weren’t in the car because we went snorkeling.
For me, that meant a lot of food. Good or bad, I use food to make help give me a boost to get through the long hours spent in the car. Normally, I pack a ton of junk food for trips. Chips, cookies, candy, energy drinks – you name it, it came with. And then fast food filled in the gaps. Gross.
Since we were going to be in the car so long and that we weren’t staying in any place too long, I knew I couldn’t live off that kind of food for long. So we opted for a little different menu in our vehicle and went grocery shopping along the way. So today, I thought I’d share some of my best tips on how to make your next road trip healthier!
Go a little nutty | Nuts are a great way to get healthy fats, protein, vitamins, and minerals in your snack foods. Not only that, but they’re an easy way to get a more natural boost of energy compared to energy/sugary drinks and snacks.
Stay hydrated | This is a tough one for me as it usually means more bathroom breaks, but when you’re on the road that long – it usually a welcomed break anyway. Water is the best option as it’ll help you stay focused on the road and it will help prevent fatigue.
Skip the sweets | Instead of the chocolates and cookies and candy that usually scratched the sweet itch I’d get in the car, we opted for dried fruit and coconut chips along with some sweetened nuts. This was a much better option for me when it came to my cravings and I loved having this Tri Bento lunchbox (which I also used for a quick recipe on the road that I cannot wait to share with you soon!) This thing is perfection. It’s great for portion control (all three containers at 1.5 cups) and the clip that keeps them together is super secure, ensuring your delicious contents don’t spill.
Take Breaks | We tried to space out our breaks to every 2-3 hours for gas, bathroom, and/or food. We usually had a reason to stop for one or multiple thing and it was a nice excuse to get out and stretch. (My favorite break? The welcome center as we got into Florida that we got free orange juice at. YUM!) This helped with circulation, fatigue, focus and our overall mood.
Plan healthy stops | Look ahead of time for where you could be stopping and plan any restaurant stops ahead of time. This will prevent you from having to stop at any fast food restaurant that’s near the highway because there’s nothing else around. Or better yet:
Bring your own meals | Bring everything that you need to make sandwiches or snack lunches that are filled with fruit, vegetables, and healthier dips. This way, you know exactly what you’ll be eating. And if you’re going this route, you’ve got to grab this ECO Picnic Kit. Not only will you make your road trip healthier, but you’ll be going green, too. This kit comes with two stainless steel plates and sporks that are super easy to pack along with gorgeous all-natural cotton napkins. You’ll be able to eat easily in the vehicle, a park, or even a scenic overlook and leave no trace that you were there!
Get enough zZzs | We slept in the vehicle one time throughout this trip and it was one our way home when we had zero interest in paying $50+ for a few hours of shut eye in a hotel. But that sleep was absolutely necessary as we knew we weren’t going to be safe on the road without it. Make sure to get enough rest, in your car or in your hotel, so you’re staying focused and refreshed when you’re behind the wheel. If possible, take turns driving – especially if you’re on tight schedule and need to keep moving.
Making your next road trip healthier really is easy. Especially when you have great products like the ones I mentioned from ECOlunchbox that make your food packing even easier. I am in love with their new Blue Water Bento Products that they just launched after their successful Kickstarter program, too. (Those fun blue topped containers up there? AMAZING. No spill, stainless steal, non-breakable containers that are dishwasher and oven safe? Yes please!)
If you haven’t heard of ECOlunchbox yet, you really are missing out. ECOlunchbox makes plastic-free, non-leaching stainless steel lunch boxes and handy cotton lunch bags to provide waste-free & healthy meal-time solutions for everyone. Perfect for traveling, perfect for lunch time, and perfect for a greener way to enjoy your food. Be sure to check them out on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram, too!